Customs & Immigration
U.S. residents visiting the American Virgin Islands can return with, or mail, $1,600 worth of duty-free imports every 30 days. If you go over your exemption, the next $1,000 is dutiable at a flat rate of 1.5 percent. Above that, articles are subject to various rates of duty. Packages following by mail can be included in your exemption. This allows you to order items such as china and glass in quantity for later shipment.
Members of a family residing in one household and traveling together may make a joint declaration. For example, a couple traveling with two children may take home duty-free articles valued up to $6,400.
You may send gifts to friends and relatives (excluding tobacco and alcohol) but no more than one package per day to the same address - up to $100 in value. These items need not be declared.
Those over 21 may return to the mainland with five .75 liter bottles of liquor, duty-free. You are allowed a sixth bottle, if it is produced in the Virgin Islands such as Cruzan Rum. Duty on bottles over this quota is usually very low so it may be worth it to take more as long as you have the room.
Island-made items are customs exempt but obtain a certificate of origin if the value exceeds $25. Original paintings, unset precious gems and binoculars are also exempt. When you depart the islands, you will be given a Customs Declaration form to fill out and present with your luggage to a customs inspector.
When you arrive in the U.S. Virgin Islands you don't need a passport but if you have one, bring it with you. The reason? U.S. Immigration and Naturalization officials require identity when you return home. The U.S. Virgin Islands is a "port of entry" to the mainland. As such, travelers are officially re-entering the United States when leaving the islands.
If you don't have a passport, travel with a certified birth certificate and photo ID. Non U.S. citizens who are permanent residents need to show a certificate of alien registration or green card upon leaving the territory.
Take note that when visiting the nearby British Virgin Islands, you are entering a foreign country. You are checked in, you are checked out, you are checked back into the U.S. Virgin Islands and, at each checkpoint, you are required to show proof of citizenship. Voter registration cards are no longer accepted in the B.V.I. as proof of U.S. citizenship. For additional information, contact the Bureau of Customs at (340) 774-2510.
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